fashion

The Brownlow WAGS who ditched designer couture for op shop dresses.

From feathers and metres of tulle to millions of handsewn beads, there were countless killer dresses (and let’s not forget the jumpsuits) on The Brownlow red carpet last night.

But not everyone was wearing designer wares last night.

Three Brownlow WAGs decided in favour of ‘op shop couture’ for AFL’s night of nights – and for a very good cause.

D’Arne Finnis, wife of St Kilda Football Club CEO Matt Finnis, Jo Richardson, wife of senior coach Alan Richardson and Karen Massen, partner of Club president Peter Summer bought their $8 gowns straight off the rack from Sacred Heart Mission op shop in South Melbourne.


“They [Sacred Heart] do such an amazing job for the community of St Kilda and both the club and Sacred Heart come from that community and are supported by that community,” Finnis told the Port Phillip Leader.

From a monochrome silk halterneck number to the almost-obligatory sequin Brownlow bling, they stood out on the red carpet for all the right reasons.

On a night where the focus is heavily on the fashion, the trio promoted a message worthy of the spotlight.

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Image: Twitter/@Matt_Finnis

Finnish, who also volunteers at the mission's aged-care residence, says not only was the usual months-in-advance preparation made easier by picking her dress and shoes straight from the op shop, but it also made the night even more special.

"I think if you feel good about doing something you look better anyway. I’ve got three young children so [getting ready has] never been something I’ve been able to dedicate a huge amount of time to on the day," she said.

"Hopefully we look lovely too, but we also like to be feeling fantastic about doing something that has a much broader impact than just wearing a nice dress on the night."

The mission helps people who are homeless or living in poverty to find shelter, food care and support. (Post continues after gallery.)

Even better, it's actually not the first time she's promoted op shop chic on the red carpet.

She wore 'Sacred Heart Mission The Label' to The Brownlow a few years ago and more recently to the club's Best and Fairest Awards a few weeks ago.

"Around the time Matt got the job [as CEO], I went down to the mission to show the kids St Kilda and where the hub of it all is and explain the importance of the Sacred Heart Mission to the St Kilda Football Club and vice versa and we happened to see a dress there and I bought it and wore it to the Brownlow," she said.

The group are hoping their actions will encourage others to get involved, either by shopping at the op shop or donating unwanted dresses from their wardrobe for a proposed 'gown drive'.

"The mission could then sell those dresses — every $8 provides three meals for someone, so it’s a small gesture that creates a huge impact on people’s lives," she said.

Here's hoping this is one Brownlow trend that takes off.

Image: Twitter/@Matt_Finnis